Congratulations to Next Generation Ballet (NGB) New Artists Jarod Curley and Peter Weil, who were two of only seven males from the United States to be accepted into the world’s most prestigious dance competition, the Prix de Lausanne.
The two dancers head to Lausanne, Switzerland this weekend for the competition, which will be Feb. 2 - 7, 2015.
Peter Weil, 18, from Philadelphia, began his dance training at the Metropolitan Ballet Academy.
“My mom told me it would help me with my soccer skills,” said Weil.
At the age of 12, his soccer and dance schedules began to conflict and he had to choose. He chose dance.
He has performed as a guest artist with the Pennsylvania Ballet, including roles as Oliver Percy in the Carnival of the Animals, and as the Prince in the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Before joining NGB in the summer of 2014, he spent two years as a trainee with the Boston Ballet where he had opportunities to perform with the company.
"I appreciate the level of training we get for men’s work [with NGB at the Patel Conservatory]. He [Stark] really knows what we need to do,” said Weil. “This year I’m working on the fluidity of my dancing and cleaning it up to be more professional. It’s a good finishing year for me.”
Curley, 16, from Frederick, Md. began his dance training with Frederick School of Classical Ballet and went on to study at CityDance Conservatory with Lorraine Spiegler. He’s performed principal roles in NGB's Nutcracker and Sleeping Beauty. He’s also attended the School of American Ballet’s summer intensive on full merit scholarship and participated in the choreography workshop under the direction of New York City Ballet company member, Silas Farley.
Prior to coming to NGB in the summer of 2013, Curley had been offered full scholarships to American Ballet Theatre and Bolshoi Ballet’s summer programs.
“I almost wasn’t going to audition [for NGB] because I already had other opportunities,” said Curley.
At the NGB audition, he felt an instant connection with artistic director Peter Stark.
“It was awesome working with him just in the audition class. When I got in the car, I said to my mother, ‘There’s no way I can go anywhere else,’” said Curley.
Curley’s family moved to Tampa in 2013. He and his younger siblings homeschool, and both his sister Ava and brother Winston enjoy many classes in dance, music and theater at the Patel Conservatory.
A total of 70 dancers from 18 countries were selected to compete at this year’s Prix de Lausanne. All dancers will participate in master classes and receive scholarship opportunities with renowned ballet schools worldwide.
“I’m really excited to go to Switzerland. I’m hoping to get into a company, so I’m excited about the job opportunities,” said Weil.
NGB alumni who have competed in the Prix de Lausanne include Hannah Bettes (“Audience Favorite” and 2nd place Prix de Lausanne 2011, company member Boston Ballet), William Dugan (Hamburg Ballet School), Tanner Bleck (San Francisco Ballet School) and Olivia Gusti (Ballet West Trainee).
Congratulations and best of luck to Peter and Jarod!